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Ocean Planet Report
Ocean Planet Around Alone Log
Bayonna, Spain(!)
Saturday, October 19, 2002 


I arrived in Bayonna, Spain, around 6 a.m. this morning (Saturday), where five other skippers have also decided to ride out the huge storm that blocks our path to South Africa. So we now have quite an international crowd of singlehanded sailors here: Brad Van Liew, Tim Kent, and me (US), Kojiro (Japan), Alan, (Bermuda), and Derrick (Canada). There is a rumor that Italian sailor Simone Bianchetti may join us, we will see.

So it struck me as Alan, Koji, and me were walking down the street to a marine store today (we all wanted to buy boathooks, among other things!), that you just never know where you are going to wind up in the wild ride of life. I thought, here I am, walking in an amazing foreign place (castles and everything) with crazy singlehanded sailors from Japan and Bermuda in a completely unplanned adventure. The connecting medium that brings us together is the ocean, which connects nearly all of the world. It is so special to make a landfall (in our cases, solo) in a new place like this.

We are all very tired, partly from staying up to greet and help each other in. Brad, Alan, and me just had a wild time greeting Tim Kent a couple of hours ago and trying to safely tie up his boat in the building storm winds. This was a huge adventure in itself with several excessively exciting moments that I will spare you, but trust me, we and Tim are VERY glad that it’s over and that the boats and us are all safe. 

We all were expecting to be pounding away in the ocean right now, so our dinner together at the friendly yacht club here was very special. Our thoughts are with the skippers that are still out there riding out the massive storm. We wish them the best luck and that they safely and swiftly escape any harm. They represent the very best professional sailors and are incredibly capable people so we are sure they will be fine. Sometime later in this race we may wind up in similar conditions again. I plan to be ready for it if that happens.

To that end, I have a lot of fixing and rigging to do and it will be a very busy couple (few?) days here, then we are off.

Attached are pics of a huge castle just above the marina, the gang at dinner tonight, and Derrick (who has hardly slept for days, like the rest of us!) temporarily passed out just before dinner. Don’t tell him I took it….



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